Our climate change challenge requires a long term commitment and accountability. We’ve seen the failure of Conservative and Liberal governments to meet Kyoto and Copenhagen targets with little accountability. We can’t afford to fail on our Paris targets. Jagmeet’s Green Economy and Climate Agenda ensures governments and businesses, now and in the future, remain accountable to our climate commitments.
Trudeau has not put Canada on a path to meet our 2030 climate change commitments. Studies show that meeting our 2030 commitment and even exceeding it with Jagmeet’s more ambitious 2025 target is possible.
In the spirit of Jack Layton’s Climate Accountability Act, a Jagmeet Singh-led government will:
Establish a Climate Change Action Officer (CCAO): Create an independent officer of parliament mandated to report on interim progress on emission reductions including the progressively more ambitious targets required by the Paris Agreement. CCAO reporting will occur annually and the published findings of the CCAO will be answerable by the Environment Minister and Prime Minister.
The explicit mandate of the CCAO will be to provide prescriptive policy to enable government course-correction on climate policy and the ratcheting up of ambition in response to scientific evidence. This would include assessments of the Pan Canadian Climate Framework and any decisions made by the Federal government on major energy infrastructure projects.
Empower the Commissioner of Environment and Sustainable Development (CESD): Task the CESD to the Auditor General with gathering data from each province and territory, using a harmonized inventory framework on progress toward greenhouse gas emissions reductions, and measuring this progress against Federal-Provincial-Territorial targets every two years. This data will inform the reporting of the CCAO.
Create a Climate Change Action Advisory Group: Through a transparent process, Jagmeet will appoint an advisory group composed of regional and topic-specific experts who will support the CCAO in interpreting data presented by the CESD and assessing implications for climate, energy, and economic policies and regulations. Working with the Advisory Group, the CCAO will then include in their annual report recommendations to federal, provincial and territorial governments for improving policies and regulations to increase the strength and ambition of mitigation efforts.
Protect Canadian pensions, savings and RRSPs: Publicly traded companies in Canada are already required to make public financial filings that include information about the company’s health and material risks. However, those material risks do not currently include climate related risks, which, as the Bank of Canada has acknowledged, have a material impact on Canada’s economy and financial system. Canadians deserve to know how businesses are preparing for the reality of climate change and how it will affect their investments, so they can make informed decisions and help to stop climate change. Currently, only a handful of companies are reporting on climate-related risks and only our government can ensure that all companies provide this information.
In order to give force to the recommendations from the international Carney-Bloomberg Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures and create a level playing field for companies, Jagmeet Singh will require major publicly traded Canadian companies to disclose climate-related risks to their businesses, so Canadians know the effects on their pension holdings and investments.